How to Clean Suede


Suede is so pretty, it feels great and it looks great and there are many great coats, handbags, boots and shoes to choose from.

But many people shy away from buying suede because they are worried they’ll ruin a nice item (and real suede is not cheap) if something is spilled on it.

Don’t hesitate anymore. Go buy that suede handbag you’ve been wanting and carry it anywhere you’d like.

There are ways to get spots out of suede and they’re a lot easier than you think. One thing to do is check with a professional cleaner to see about getting your suede garment water or stain-proofed (if it didn’t come this way) and they can also clean your items.

But if you’d like to try removing spots and stains yourself, here are a few tips for cleaning suede. Please test any cleaning tip in a inconspicuous spot first to avoid any damaging your garment.

Use a Suede Brush:

A suede brush can be purchased from a shoe store. You can start with a soft suede brush and move up to a wire suede brush, depending on the suede and the severity of the stain.

Rub gently over dried stains and mud until the stain has been removed.

Wick The Stain Out:

If you’re watching in horror as greasy oil from food is slopped, or maybe a couple of drops of wine spilled onto your suede boots – grab a paper towel and see if you can wick the stain away from the suede.

Don’t mess around with the stain by rubbing at it or even blotting at it. Just hold an edge of the paper towel until it’s in the liquid and it should soak most of it up. Then move on to one of the following:

Blot To Remove:

If the stain is wet, and you can wick it out, lay a clean paper towel on the wet suede.

Gently blot. Don’t press the stain into the suede. When the area dries, brush with a suede brush.

Detergent and Cornmeal:

Cornmeal? Yes it’s true. First you need some clear liquid dish detergent – just a small drop or two. Using a toothbrush, brush it carefully just onto the stained spot.

  • Remove the detergent from the suede with a wet piece of cloth until the detergent is gone.
  • Wait until the suede is almost dry and rub yellow cornmeal into it. This will help get the suede’s texture back to normal. Don’t wet the cornmeal.
  • When you’re done use a suede brush – a dry brush – to remove the last of the cornmeal.

Erase the Stain With An Eraser:

Borrow a pencil with a clean eraser from your son or daughter’s backpack and gently rub/erase dry stains on suede until they disappear.

White Vinegar:

  • Vinegar is amazing stuff. Using a clean, damp, soft cloth, with a small amount of white vinegar, rub into the spot on your suede garment to remove stains.
  • Allow to dry then use a suede brush to lift the material.

As you can see, there are lots of ways to remove stains from suede. The number one tip I have is to protect suede items with water and stain-proofing.

And if you wear suede near your face, it’s smart to protect the garment with a scarf, or perhaps you could wear a collared shirt underneath.

But if the accident has happened, this list of suede cleaning tips should help you out. Accidents happen – even to suede. And you are now prepared to do battle with stains and keep your suede clean!


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